- a new order that authorizes regulated health professionals to provide patient care services outside their regular scope of practice and enables hospitals to employ, contract, appoint or otherwise engage regulated health professionals from out-of-province (O. Reg. 305/21, approved and ordered April 21, 2021)
- anew order that authorizes Independent Health Facilities (IHFs) to redeploy staff to hospitals on a voluntary basis to help with capacity needs relative to the third wave of COVID-19 (O. Reg. 304/21, approved and ordered April 21, 2021)
- a new order to cease all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures (Directive #2 for Health Care Providers, issued April 20, 2021)
Under O. Reg. 305/21, regulated health professionals, including MRITs, from Ontario or out-of-province, are authorized to engage outside their regular scope of practice to provide services to Ontario hospital patients, provided that:
(a) it is necessary for the health care professional to provide such services to respond to, prevent or alleviate the effects of the outbreak of COVID-19,
(b) the services are consistent with the duties that have been assigned or the privileges that have been granted by the hospital, and
(c) the health care professional acts in a manner that is consistent with measures taken by the hospital in accordance with relevant legislation.
Hospitals are responsible to ensure that staff members are only assigned tasks or asked to deliver services that they are reasonably qualified to provide.
This new emergency order permits hospitals to deploy regulated health professionals to respond to, prevent and alleviate the outbreak of COVID-19 (e.g., MRITs may be required to backfill nursing positions due to nurses being deployed to ICU).
The CMRITO interprets this order for MRITs deployed to provide services to hospital patients, as follows:
- MRITs are authorized to practise outside the regular MRIT scope of practice if it is necessary to provide such services to respond to, prevent or alleviate the effects of the outbreak of COVID-19
- no delegation or order is required for a controlled act performed when an MRIT is working outside their regular scope of practice in accordance with this new emergency order
- MRITs must only provide services in accordance with the direction of the clinical manager assigned by the hospital for the area in which they are providing services to hospital patients
- MRITs must ensure that they are competent to provide any service, and if not, inform their clinical manager and refrain from providing the service
Health professionals acting outside their scope of practice in accordance with the new emergency order will not be subject to any action or other proceedings for actions they take or perform, for neglect or default in performance of these acts, where they are done in good faith. However, a member of CMRITO continues to be subject to the jurisdiction of the CMRITO for incompetence that occurs while the member provides services under this new order. MRITs are encouraged to contact their PLI provider to ensure that they are covered for services provided under this new order.
MRITs who are not practising under this new order and are instead practising within their regular scope of practice are required to comply with the regulatory requirements set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the Medical Radiation and Imaging Technology Act, 2017, and the CMRITO Standards of Practice
. MRITs are encouraged to consult the publication What you must know about … performing procedures for medical radiation and imaging technologists
for more information.
MRITs working at IHFs who wish to be redeployed to a hospital under O. Reg. 304/21, should contact the IHF licensee or manager for information.
MRITs should follow the guidance of their place of employment regarding the implementation of Directive #2 for Health Care Providers, issued April 20, 2021, that requires the cessation of all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.
We understand that these are difficult and unsettling times to provide medical radiation and imaging technology services, and health care, in Ontario. We acknowledge that these challenges bring a high degree of uncertainty, especially as MRITs are deployed to other patient care areas or facilities. Practising in unfamiliar clinical environments requires continual adaptation and modifications to your practice – you may even be concerned about being able to maintain the Standards of Practice. While CMRITO will continue to receive complaints and reports during the pandemic, we assess all information with consideration to the practice environment and the situation in which MRITs are working.
The CMRITO will continue to monitor these changes over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if MRITs have any questions or concerns about working under these new emergency orders, please contact our professional practice advisers at email@example.com
We recognize that MRITs are doing their best to take care of their patients under arduous and extremely difficult conditions. We extend our deepest and sincerest appreciation to each of you for your dedication and diligent service to your patients during the severe third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay safe and stay well.